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Ezri Konsa was forced to cancel his winter vacation due to a last-minute call-up, but the Aston Villa defender remained confident that he would eventually get the opportunity to play for England.
The highly-skilled 26-year-old has been predicted to be chosen for a promotion to the senior team, but once again was not selected for his first call-up when the roster for the last Euro 2024 qualifying matches was revealed on Thursday.
However, Lewis Dunk’s injury created an opportunity for a last-minute addition to Gareth Southgate’s team, resulting in a surprise phone call after Villa’s 3-1 win against Fulham on the weekend.
“I was driving home after my game on Sunday,” Konsa said. “My partner and I were discussing taking a short break and going away.”
After two minutes, I received the call. It was a strange sensation. It didn’t fully register until I arrived home.
The wife shed a few tears, she was more thrilled than I was! I prefer being here instead (of being on vacation), so it’s all good.
The past few days have been a rollercoaster for a player who has remained steadfast in their belief, even though they have repeatedly missed out on potential opportunities to play for England.
Konsa, who was a member of England’s victorious 2017 Under-20 World Cup team, expressed his and his family’s pride in this achievement.
I am grateful for the chance to play for England, as it has been a lifelong dream since I was young.
“I was aware that there were areas of my game that needed improvement, but it wasn’t until the past two seasons at Villa that we really excelled. That experience has greatly contributed to my growth as a player.”
I always knew that my time would arrive, it was simply a matter of when. I remained patient and, as I mentioned before, my family and I are extremely delighted.
I have confidence in myself and support myself, and I am currently greatly enjoying my experience playing football.
The defender has consistently risen to the occasion, from Charlton to Brentford and now to Villa, and is prepared to do the same for England.
Konsa has the opportunity to make his first appearance in the last Euro 2024 qualification matches, either at home against Malta or away against North Macedonia. This could be his chance to prove himself for next year’s finals.
“Undoubtedly, every player’s goal is to participate in a major tournament and represent their country,” he stated.
“That is definitely included in my list and is definitely something I intend to do.”
Konsa’s top priority is to earn a cap, joining a talented set of alumni from Senrab, a renowned youth team in east London. Coach Tony Caroll, who was nicknamed ‘Little Rio’, shared this information.
According to Konsa, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry were both players that he looked up to and admired. Terry, who also played for Senrab like Konsa, was someone he particularly respected and gained valuable knowledge from while he was a coach at Villa.
Konsa spoke highly of Terry, whom he worked with for a span of two years, stating that he greatly contributed to improving his skills in the game.
I used to inquire about his ability to sustain high-level play and he generously shared advice with me.
“I accepted that challenge and it has undoubtedly aided me in reaching my current position.”
“Yes, he was in communication and he sent me a pleasant message.”
“He simply expressed his congratulations and advised me to savor the moment and stay true to myself.”